Microfluidics from LEGO Bricks

Microfluidics from LEGO Bricks

Tiny Lab in LEGO Bricks

Researchers have found a way to make a tiny lab out of LEGO Bricks. Microfluidics is a field of study that manipulates fluids at a very minute scale. The field of microfluidics previously made use of a flat, two dimensional- chip like structures to create a lab where fluids could be mixed, sorted, pumped and stored.

Now researchers have found a way to use a child’s most played with toy to create a lab for their microfluidics study. LEGOs can now add another area in to which they can be used- “The Field of Microfluidic Study.”

What is Microfluidic Study?

Microfluidic study is the study of manipulating fluids at a submillimeter scale and in order to manipulate such fluids, Microfluidic study uses tiny chips etched with channels which allow the fluids to flow.

Microfluidic devices allow fluids to be manipulated under various processes all in one chip. Creating a chip with etched channels where fluids can be manipulated in various ways is not only time consuming but is also very expensive.

LEGO Bricks _1

Researchers have now looked at a child’s toy- “LEGO bricks” for their microfluidic study. LEGObricks can be found anywhere in the world and any brick can snap onto the other without any difficulty. This advantage of being easily available and that the LEGO bricks can be used easily has made it an attractive option in the study of microfluidics.

Using LEGO Bricks to Create Mini Channels for Fluids:

A team of researches purchased a pack of LEGO bricks and tried to build tiny channels into each brick and one of the ways in which a channel can be made into the brick involves micromilling, a process whereby submillimeter features are drilled into the brick to create a channel.

Researchers have used this technique of micromilling to drill channels of various shapes in order to manipulate the fluids in various ways. The aim is get each LEGO brick have a particular process for manipulating channels and then the LEGO bricks could be used in various arrangements to create different labs for different purposes.

Difficulties in using LEGO bricks:

In order to make a secure microfluidic channel in a LEGO brick the fluid should not be allowed to seep through any gaps in the system. Although LEGO bricks snap securely into one another there is always a gap between two brick walls where the channel of fluid is to flow through. This gap generally spans 100-500 microns.

Researchers have found that by using an “O” shaped ring like structure onto the opening of each channel, the fluid would not seep through. The “O” ring can then be placed on the milled opening in the wall with a slight part projecting outwards, this created a fluid seal when LEGO bricks are place side by side.

Disadvantages of using LEGO Bricks:

LEGO bricks are made of plastic and this makes them unfit for manipulating certain chemicals, also right now the only way to build a channel is through micromilling and micromilling allows only tens of microns wide channels to be milled into the wall of a brick whereas in microfluidics study, much smaller channels will be required.


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Wearable Technology Could Change the Way Athletes Train

Wearable Technology Could Change the Way Athletes Train

Wearable Technology – The Game Changer in Fitness and Sports

Whether it is at the elementary level or even the professionals in sports, the wearable technology is proving to be a game changer with regards to fitness and sports.

At the professional level, the players are using the wearable technology during their practice sessions to measure, monitor and take their performance to the next level. It is a very useful technology as far as the risk of injury to the athletes is concerned.

The athletes can learn more about their bodies from the data that is obtained from the wearables.

It is not only the watch on the wrist, but other wearables too that are being developed by the companies to gather more information to enhance the performance of the athletes.

Catapult Sports which is a Chicago based company has developed the Catapult which is helping in football training. It has a GPS tracker that is worn on the back and a strap on the chest which help the coaches to get important info during the practice sessions. The data of each player is useful to determine the player’s work rates, their game and practice schedules and rehabilitation in case of injury.

In the field of basketball, the wearable technology, Shot Tracker comes with a sensor and an app to help the players to track their shots. The sensor clips onto the basketball net while the shooting is monitored by the wristband. This wearable helps the player in identifying the mistakes with regard to skill and correcting them, thus giving him a complete coaching including his goals and workouts.

Some of the other wearable technology that has been developed include heart rate-monitoring sports bras and T-shirts as well as soccer balls to monitor the speed, distance, trajectory and rotation. Sports, is a form of entertainment and the fans would love to be engaged with the whole scenario of seeing and feeling what the athlete is actually going through in that situation.  The heart rate of the car racers in dangerous situations and power metrics of cyclists can be experienced. This makes it more interesting for the fans.

On the other hand, there is also a cause of concern, of how the wearable technology can be used to track an athlete’s schedule and life when he is off the field. There should be a line drawn as regards the privacy and security of the athletes. Though the players and the coaches want to be at the top of their game, there is also a concern that the wearable technology should not breach the thin line between the personal and professional lives.

With development in wearable technology, as more parameters of an athlete are tracked, any decline in a player’s performance can also see a pay decrease. An athlete may be doing well, but any slight changes in the data related to injury history, patterns related to age can also result in a lower pay package.

From monitoring the training and practice sessions of the athletes to recovery of the athlete in case of an injury, the wearables are proving to be a game changer as far as fitness and sports are concerned. The wearable technology will help the coaches, trainers and general managers to get the maximum performance from their players.

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What is IPv6 Address, Why Should I Know about It?

What is IPv6 Address, Why Should I Know about It?

Network Layer Protocol  – Data & Communication Transmission

The latest type of Internet Protocol (IP) is the Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)which is the communication protocol offering aproof of identity together with location system for the computers on networks as well as routes the traffic across the Internet.  It is a network layer protocol enabling data and communication transmission to occur over the network and came into existence in 1998 to take over and replace IPv4 protocol someday. Established by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), in 1998, IPv6 tends to deal with the long-expected issue of IPv4 address exhaustion.   The IPv4 protocol comprises of four number strings each of which has three digits divided by dots.  A standard IPv4 address has 32-bit which seems like enabling 4.2 billion unique IP addresses.  With the increase in wireless and network friendly devices on the rise, it is speculated that very soon the internet may get exhausted of all unique IPv4 addresses.  In order to resolve this issue a new standard of network layer protocol enabling more unique IP address was created and IPv6 was standardized.  IPv6 protocol comprising of 128-bits has eight numbered strings where the individual has four characters –alphanumeric disconnected by colon which provides an incredibleamount of unique IP addresses.

IPv4 Infrastructure – Carry IPv6 Packets – Tunnelling

More addresses would be essential in connecting devices than those available on the IPv4 address space and it also assures that we will not run out of unique IP address to assign to new devices shortly. The actual number tends to be somewhat smaller, as multiple ranges have been set aside for special use or totally excluded from usage. The two protocols have not been developed to be interoperable, complicating the transition to IPv6 but most of the IPv6 transition mechanisms are formulated to enable communication between IPv4 and IPv6 hosts. Several Internet users do not tend to have IPv6 dual-stack support.  Hence they are unable to directly reach sites.  They need to utilise IPv4 infrastructure in order to carry packets which is done by using a method called tunnelling  that captures IPv6 packets in IPv4, basically utilising IPv4 as a connection layer for IPv6. There are various types of  addresses-

  • Unicast addresses – which identifies unique node on a network and is inclined in referring to an individual sender or receiver
  • Multicast addresses which represents a group of IP devices which can be utilised only as the destination of a datagram
  • Anycast addresses is assigned to a set of interfaces which tend to belong naturally to various nodes

The Advantages of it

  • Routing competence
  • Stringer safety
  • Consistency
  • Quicker speeds
  • Worldwide reachability
  • Superior encryption
  • Higher website adaptation
  • Enhanced user experience
  • Improved customer insights

The Disadvantages of IPv6

Conversion – IPv4 tends to be yet very popular and many including users and companies have been taking their time in making the modification to v6.

Communication– IPv4 and IPv6 mechanisms does not have the capacity of communicating directly with each other and to make it possible would need intermediate equipment.

Transition – A lot of effort together with numerous hours of work would be needed for the user to switch from IPv4.

Readability–In comparison to IPv4, v6 sub-netting tends to be complex to understand while recalling your v6 address is almost impossible.

Who should care about IPv6 Address and Why

Network Layer protocol is appropriate choice for professional users together with home-based users and is perfect for Network engineers, data centres, mobile carriers, and tech companies.

When is the Identity leaked by IPv6

Though there is no harm linked with IPv6 addresses but it could be a bit complicated when users tend to link to a VPN. A VPN user is assigned an IPv4 IP address when they are connected to a VPN wherein the user makes attempts in communicating with an IPv6 server. However there could be instances where the real IP address could get leaked and could lead to exposed identity.

How could one get protection from IPv6 Leak with Pure VPN

The leakage could be a threat wherein it could disclose one’s identity without the user being aware of it.  It is always beneficial to put in extra efforts in safeguarding one’s personal information from being tracked or recorded by any unauthorized individual or team. This can be done with ease by disabling its ability from the machine each time a user would need to link to a VPN.  When the private session has been accomplished, then the ability can be enabled which can be done with a single click. One of the best tools in the market which tends to be helpful to protect your IPv6 address from leaking your real information and your personal details is PureVPN.  User could take the opportunity of subscribing to any of the premium plans of PureVPN in order to avail total IPv6 security.

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Google’s Art Selfies Are the Talk of Twitter

Google’s Art Selfies Are the Talk of Twitter

Google art selfies has just become the talk of the town on Twitter

Google keeps reinventing the simple things into a fabulous tool for millions of internet users worldwide. It has debut a new feature in the lacklustre Google Arts & Culture app which helps in in instantly transforming user’s selfies into an incredible work of an art and effectively calling it art selfies. Google has launched this app almost two years ago but it never became as popular as other but bringing this update everyone is flocking to download this app thereby making it an overnight hit on global scale. Art selfies has struck a chord with almost everyone across the globe regardless of age, ethnicity, religious or political inclination.

This new feature helps in producing art selfies wherein users takes their snap and it is then compared with some of the great art of the world. Google has brought this feature in order to introduce the world with the fine art in a more constructive way.

Taking art selfies is in vogue

Google came with the idea of turning selfies into art quite a while back and this feature was brought to the Google Arts & Culture app in the middle of December just before the holiday season. However it took sometime before it was discovered by the netizens globally. Once people started uploading art selfies on the social media platform like Facebook and Twitter this app shot to its prominence and very soon it made its way into the top charts. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this app is no. 1 on both the Google Play Store and iOS App Store.

Art selfies is available for everyone

Google takes some time in launching the update on its app globally. Even the Android OS update is released based on the specific regions and same goes true for this recent update as it isn’t available in every other nation or cities on global basis. A number of users are left unhappy and even angry in some cases as they can’t be the part of this global phenomenon of taking art selfies.

Take a virtual tour of museums

Google had launched this app way in the November of 2015 which can aim of offering virtual tours of the museums to the users. Currently it has more than 1000 museums in it along with that it has its own website as well which provides museum tours to the users.

It is a crafty way of taking people into some of the renowned museums in the world from the comfort of their house or office or anywhere they are. Apart from the virtual tours this app also offers some subtle art education to the users which don’t appear to be preachy or boring at all.

This app gladly asks users to take a selfies and search among thousands of artworks on the global scale to check which resembles close to you. Users can take art selfies right from their smartphone camera after which Google will search the best possible resembling art work.

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Google Launches New IT Course, Offers Access to Jobs and Scholarships

Google Launches New IT Course, Offers Access to Jobs and Scholarships

Google Launched – IT Support Program

Google together with online learning giant Coursera had recently revealed a new certificate program to train Americans for entry level IT jobs inclusive of those who did not have college degrees. The company has mentioned that they will be filling the requirements in the tech world.  The statistics of Coursera had cited that presently there seems to be around 150,000 unfiled support jobs only in the US.  Initially the IT Support program which will be launched all across the world would be offering courses only in English with 64 hours of coursework in total.  Students are expected to complete the same in 8 to 12 months. The course for the Coursera platform is written by Googlers to impart and then test across six vital areas of customer support namely, troubleshooting as well as customer service, networking, system administration, automation, operating systems together with security where no earlier IT experience is essential.  Moreover it also links the participants with huge employers such as Bank of America and Wal-Mart who have been on the lookout for workers talented in basic IT skills. This online learning initiative called the Google IT Support Professional Certificate charges $49 per month through Coursera.

Support Workers – Footing in U.S. Economy

However for a limited period, Google has stated that it would pay those costs for 10,000 participants. The IT initiative is said to be a part of a huge $1 billion attempt by Google to support workers to obtain their footing in a U.S. economy disrupted by technology, aimed on the skills and education. This effort has come up at a time when Google together with the other tech giants have been attempting to repel the increasing criticism regarding their consequence on society and the workforce. As per a Google executive leading the initiative, Natalie Van Kleef Conley, the new courses have sprung out of the own experience of the company in an effort of locating people for unfilled IT positions. She had stated in an interview with Fortune that the lessons developed by Google’s employee had been targeted at veterans in particular, refugees and lower income communities. She further added that the IT programs would evade other job-training initiative which often does little to place people in the workforce, in part because Google and Coursera are working directly with employers looking for skills provided by the program.

Gateway in Tech Labour Force

Google had mentioned in a blogpost that once people tend to complete the certificate, they have the choice to share their information with the top employers directly, inclusive of Bank of America, Wal-Mart,GE Digital, Sprint, PNC Bank, Infosys, TEKSystems and UPMC together with Google who tend to be interested in hiring IT support talent. Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda on the other hand informed Fortune that online learning has enhanced dramatically recently and that it is a misconception to presume that Internet-based course tend to be inferior in comparison to campus-based lessons. He also mentioned that Coursera together with Google that had worked in partnership in the past have been attempting to ensure that theirITcurriculum does not tend to be stale or obsolete and the program should support the participants in gaining good job openings. He further added that IT program could be a gateway in the tech labour force wherein one could progress from all types of careers.

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